Here's a quick race report:
The Cascade Crest Classic 100-miler has 21,000 feet of climb, (with an additional 21,000 feet of descent). I only got through about 25,000 feet of elevation change before I re-ruptured my
hamstring that I screwed-up back in June. Oh well, another couple of weeks of recovery. It's too bad, because my feet were unblistered and doing fine, I had just gotten over some stomach problems (by emptying its contents), and I still had plenty of energy at that point.
As far as he race goes, the course location was beautiful. Being in the rugged wilderness areas of the sheer-sided Cascade Mountains of Washington was awesome. The race organizers did a fantastic job putting the event on. This "one huge loop" course is a logistics nightmare for both the race officials and any support crews, but is pretty cool.
About the course. Within the first 3 miles we climbed 4500 feet and had a great view. We then lost 4000 feet within the next 2 miles. This pattern would repeat itself, in increments of 1000, 2000, 4000 and whatever feet. The footing was very tenuous, also, (when you could see the trail)...a lot of areas were overgrown to the point of not being able to see the trail at all. The race started at 10 a.m., and it was actually a warm 80+ degrees at the start and through the
rest of the day. There were a lot of sun-exposure areas while climbing, and that took quite a toll on a lot of runners. This year's race had about a 50-percent DNF rate, even with the generous cut-off times.
My hamstring injury had an additional side effect: after sitting on the plane for 4 hours, my back started hurting pretty bad. It has gotten progressively worse. I had to stay home yesterday afternoon from work and just lay on a cold pack with my legs up on pillows. (I couldn't even tie my own shoes, and couldn't sit up in a chair). Luckily, my "beer elbow" still works perfectly.
I will recover shortly, train hard, and be back there on race day next year. I wouldn't miss it for any reason. This race has me hooked! If anyone wants a decent fitness challenge, send in your
entry. I've got some good friends (up in Washington) that will crew for us.
I finally got to meet the bloggers, Rob and Michelle. I'll put out a more in-depth race report (with photos), later.